Update Forty-Nine

*Hi everyone. This update has been one of the most emotional for me to write (don’t freak out, no doctor updates to share:). They all are emotional for sure… that’s why it’s hard to write more often than I do, but for whatever reason, this one especially got to me. So much so, at one point I just had to stop writing for a couple days and take a break because it was getting hard to see through all the tears:)… and I wanted a clear mind to express myself to you the best I could.  Baring my soul to its core isn’t always something that comes naturally, especially when it’s not you and I having a personal conversation, but just me blah blah blah sharing and not necessarily knowing who is learning all about my tender little heart. I forget sometimes that I’m letting so many people into it… and it’s not just mine anymore. But this is not a bad thing… as vulnerable as I feel. I believe for whatever reason God is calling me to share my heart in the midst of my situation – maybe for my own good, maybe for the benefit of someone who may identify, maybe I will never know the reason. But I do know he is asking me to share.  And so I will. Thank you for accepting this gift from my heart… because for goodness sakes, you don’t have to be here if you don’t want to:) By the way if you ever feel like identifying yourself, whether I know you or not, I’d LOVE to hear from you. Maybe it makes me feel like you and I really are having a conversation… and a good conversation from the heart, is always my favorite thing:) You can email me (address on the contact page) or leave a comment (which all got erased when the website switched accounts:( and my heart will always be blessed:)  I love you all. Thanks for walking this journey with me. As always, I am eternally humbled.

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“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

This is a verse in my collection that never fails to jump out at me. What does it mean to number my days aright? This verse certainly strikes me differently than it did before doctors telling me that my life (if sticking with trend of others with my type of tumor) will only give me 4-7ish more years.  It can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster letting those numbers really sink in. I was diagnosed at 25 years old meaning that if I make it to 30 I’m already beating some of the odds, if I make it past 32 I’m pretty much a growing miracle from that point on. Wow, intense. 32 isn’t that far off… and 30 really isn’t far off! What does it mean to number my days aright?  And how does that give me a heart of wisdom? How do I look at what the doctors tell me with the proper perspective? So far it’s been ok… it’s been a little over a year since radiation ended and I’ve made it through the first round of treatments, past the adrenaline, into the “waiting period”. The waiting period, I’ve found… is a whole new ballgame. It can be REALLY easy to feel like:

  • Life should feel normal (whatever that means) but it doesn’t, or…
  • The world does see me as “normal” again (“but you’re all better right?”…. a question I get a lot:), but I feel the furthest thing from “normal”, making it a bit of a lonelier place.
  • My mind doesn’t know whether or not its allowed to look past age 32 and it feels lost. (My heart says go for it, but my careful mind tells me to STOP, it’ll hurt too much if you allow yourself to dream and it’s cut short.)
  • Can I even allow myself to hope for something like marriage? What young man with a healthy future, in his right mind would choose to pursue a girl in my situation? And if that does happen, do I want to put a sweet young husband or even kids through that potential pain?
  • I have a sense of urgency to spend my time well, and embrace EVERY day I am given, especially when I am feeling well and healthy… but then I’m unsure HOW to spend my time well.  I don’t have a killer career to transform the world with – feeding the mouths and souls of hungry villages or pulling orphans off the street:) I don’t have a husband and kids to nurture and soak up every last second with.  It’s just me… how do I spend time well when I don’t have any obvious specific outlets to throw myself into?

I’ve found that I always have a tendency to “assume the worst”, because I think somewhere deep inside that if I’m expecting the worst to happen and it doesn’t, it’s a pleasant surprise. But if I “hope for the best” and something hard or bad happens I will be caught off guard and completely crumble. I’m learning that when I get in this frame of mind, as much as I would like to think I’m helping or protecting myself, I’m NOT. I mean come on, look at the thoughts it makes my mind dwell on! First of all, if God has chosen to heal me and I never have to deal with cancer again, how much of life and mental/emotional energy will have been wasted on something that never happened? And how much does that disrespect God my Father who chose to heal me, when I allow myself to STILL be so CONSUMED with distracting thoughts of fear and the “what ifs” of a life threatening disease? Who cares if it’s life threatening, I’m alive today! What a waste of such a beautiful gift!  Second, who’s to say what defines the “worst “and what defines the “best”?  I am a firm believer that if you really become enmeshed in God’s will, the lines start to blur between what we would call “good” and “bad”.  Ask anyone who has walked through something difficult with the Lord at his/her side.  Even something astoundingly difficult like the death of a loved one can cease to hold the crushing power of defeat if it is allowed to be seen in it’s redemptive nature, as part of the journey that continues to shape us into the unique craftsmanship of our Lord. And those that pass away? They didn’t live a day shorter than was designed for them at their creation. And if they have the Lord as their Savior, you’ve gotta know they’re a lot happier where they are today!:)

I’m thinking that this is where the key lies in “numbering our days aright”.  Although this will forever be a learning process for me, I believe that maintaining the proper perspective on the “number of our days” has to do with living in FULL awareness of what could lay ahead in our future, but not being hindered by it. This goes for people who have full health (as far as they know) and have every expectation to live 80 years, as well as those who live each new day in faith and uncertainty. Maybe living with this perspective could really give us that “heart of wisdom”.  How amazing could it be if those of us aware that our life could be shorter, could live fully and joyfully unhindered by the “scary” possibilities… and those living unaware of any clues to a long/short life, could live fully and joyfully every day, in the knowledge and urgency that it could be their last. How much more powerfully would we all live our lives??!! Free of the guarded fear, and free of dreary obliviousness… it could be pretty amazing folks:)

A couple of my very favorite verses recently, speak to this very topic. It’s amazing how the power of a few words can shift when life situations change, so that suddenly a deep personal cord is struck way down to the soul. Time for me to get these suckers written down and posted somewhere prominent for good reminding:)

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Prov. 31:25-26

I love that…. “she can laugh at the days to come”. I see nothing here about fear or guarding her heart. I see nothing about only laughing because her life is perfect nothing bad ever happens. She laughs with what can only be seen as a non-circumstantial Christ-like joy. Then she has a mouth that pours out wisdom and faithful instruction… delicious:) Mmmm… sounds exciting doesn’t it?:) Ah Lord let that be me…

“Blessed is the (woman) who fears the Lord… (She) will have no fear of bad news; (her) heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:1, 7

I changed the “he” to a “she”… just cause it strikes me a bit more personally:) Wow, she has “no fear of bad news”.  Holy smokes.  As simple as it sounds, it’s a bit mind-blowing.  So going into my next 3 month check up in a couple weeks… I am to have no fear of bad news – even if it’s in the brief few seconds before the doctor comes in the room or when he actually delivers the news. I certainly can be afraid if I choose to (not many would criticize me for it), but maybe it means my heart isn’t truly steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Maybe it’s just not allowing myself to live in the emotional FREEDOM God intends for all of us… regardless of our situation. We are certainly allowed to have fear, most of us would… but how amazing if we can see beyond the black and white of “good” and “bad” news… and “laugh at the days to come” because we know, regardless of the circumstances God is working something out.  And it’s just as beautiful no matter what side of the good/bad spectrum it falls.

Such a huge perspective! I can desire to live a full long life because he has me alive NOW, so I should embrace what he’s given me today… LIFE. And I won’t stop embracing life with a JOYFUL urgency in the areas he’s provided for me (even if they seem insignificant), until He ends it for me. I will be alive and loving it (even if part of it is a painful decline, relying on others…which has always been my greatest fear) because this is the life he’s given me. I won’t live with the mindset of death until I don’t have eyes to open any more.  And by then friends, my soul will be more alive than its ever known. And my new eyes… they will see things we can only dream of here on earth.  I will number my days aright by embracing every day he gives me no matter what it might look like.  I will pray for the strength, discernment, and a heart of wisdom to not allow bad news/good news to have any weight on my heart, because to Jesus it’s all the same, it’s all just our journey. Our creative, and complicated, intricate, and intoxicatingly beautiful journey through this life. Amen. Awesome. Booyayouknowit. YES:)

Much Love and Laughing…
Christina